Religious Education Teacher Training Guide. September 12 th , 2009. Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington Mission and RE Goals for Children.
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September 12th, 2009
We seek to foster and celebrate diversity;to create a more just world and a caring community;to share creative gifts through worship and artistic expressions;to support lifelong learning;and to nurture a spirit of generosity in all that we do.
We are an intentionally inclusive congregation that welcomespeople of all races, religious backgrounds, cultural origins and sexual orientations.
Religious Education Goals for Children
AT LEAST 20 MINUTES BEFORE the children arrive:
If your class is for four-year olds or older:
AS CHILDREN ARRIVE
DURING LEARNING GROUP TIME
Keeping Track of two things at once:
- Have one teacher’s main focus be on the lesson
- Have one teacher’s main focus be on the learners’ behavior
- What your core lesson is about
- WHAT? SO WHAT? NOW WHAT?
( Main points, central activity, structure of the hour’s activities)
- Feel free to make adaptations as things occur
- Observe what is going on to bring joy and distress
- intervene early to redirect or reconnect
- as helpers in the classrooms
(bringing a snack, staying the morning, helping out)
- have family events, at least twice a year
- brunch after class, or playground party, or potluck mid-week
- sit near the most disruptive
- use body signals
- eye contact with a wink and a small headshake
- separate those who “egg” each other on, pair them with calming influence.
7. One on one- take the time to have a private conversation with disruptive learner, to explain the problem and to ask for the child’s help.
8. Keep in conversation with the parent or guardian.
- Find out what is happening in the family.
- Keep the RE Coordinator and team teachers up to date with conversation.
9. If behavior problems become to set up a conference with parents, teachers, child, and RE Council resource.
10. If behavior is serious (physical violence) – do not hesitate. Notify Office Manager or RE staff immediately – during the class- and have the child removed from the room.
Covenant Group Structure
We care about each other
- each session begins with “check in” and listening to each person
- parents, teachers, and children all share the responsibility about how
things are going, offer to help out and express concerns
- we respond to times of joy and sorrow, if someone is celebrating, or if
someone needs help, food, hugs, childcare, or words of comfort when things
are bad or sad
We promise to show up
- families make a point of coming to UUCA Sunday mornings
- families tell teachers and one another if they are going to have to miss a
Sunday, because of travel or illness
- when a learning group event is planned (field trip, potluck, picnic) families
join in if at all possible.
We stay in touch with the church
- we communicate to Rev. Linda about how things are going
- we find a project to do to serve the church
- we find a project to do to help the larger community
- we join in on whole church events, supporting the mission of hospitality,
generosity, and justice.
Team work won’t work if you aren’t a team. Depending on your team members’ talents, styles, interests, time, etc, different models of team work better for different groups.
Pick ONE team model - and let us know how it’s going!
No matter what model you choose, it will be important that you agree together on that model, agree to stay in good communication with one another, and agree to call on your RE Teacher Support team or your MRE if you feel your team is not functioning smoothly.
The policies and procedures adopted seek to balance the security and welfare of children, youth and adults, and the legitimate expectations of privacy of staff and volunteers. Specifically, all persons associated with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington should be aware that the church is strongly opposed to sexual exploitation and harassment and that such behavior is prohibited by church policy.
All persons engaged in the ministry of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington (including elected or appointed leaders, employees, volunteers, and authorized ministers) are responsible for knowing the possible impact of their words and actions in ministering to the emotional, mental, and spiritual needs of persons who come to them for help or over whom they have any kind of authority. Sexual harassment or sexual exploitation of parishioner(s) or other individual(s) by anyone engaged in the ministry of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington is unethical and unprofessional behavior and will not be tolerated within this congregation.
The Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington is committed to creating a safe and healthy environment in which young people can learn about and experience the love and values inherent in our seven UU Principles. It is the policy of UUCA that all volunteers and paid leaders must follow these guidelines when working with minors.
- Standards of Conduct
I. A response team consisting of a minister and no fewer than three members of the congregation (at least one male and one female) is established by the governing board of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington each year at it first meeting.
II. Several options may be taken in addressing incidents of alleged sexual exploitation or harassment:
A. The complainant can attempt to resolve the matter directly with the individual(s) accused of sexual exploitation or harassment.
B. The complainant can report the incident(s) to a minister of the church, in an effort to resolve the matter.
III. Written summaries of all proceedings surrounding complaints, investigations,
and decisions will be maintained by the response team.
IV. Any person bringing a complaint or assisting in investigating such a complaint
will not be adversely affected in terms and conditions of employment or church
membership, or other otherwise discriminated against or discharged.
V. If the complainant(s) or accused person(s) is not satisfied with the disposition
of the matter, s/he has the right to appeal to the Board Chair who shall refer the matter for resolution.
Parents should not bring sick children to church and RE activities, and parents should take sick children home, specifically if:
Teachers and Office Managers who notice that a child in the RE program has the symptoms described above or notice that a child has become ill or injured should be aware of and follow these procedures:
In all cases, you must:
*Rubber gloves and incident report forms are located in each classroom and with the office manager.
The fundamental rule here is to do all that is reasonable to ensure the safety of the children in your charge. More specifically, here are things to do:
These guidelines are recommended for the safety of children on our playground, Everyone -children, teachers, parents - need to support one another in making sure they are followed.
These guidelines are to he applied when using the playground before, during, and after Sunday morning Learning Group times, so that children do not get confused.
If a fire or other type of emergency makes it dangerous to remain in the building, teachers, and staff will immediately take the children out of the building.
ALL FIRE ALARMS SHALL BE TREAT AS REAL EVACUATION IS MANDATORY!
DO NOT USE ELEVATORS
a. Look through the glass window of the door and feel the door with the back of your hand. If you see flames, if the door is hot, or if smoke is seeping through, do not open the door.
b. Remember that many of the UUCA rooms are not at ground level and have windows that can be opened and stepped through in the hallways are unsafe.
3. Before leaving the room (whether through the door or through the windows):
a. Grab your class roster for the day and be ready to take it with you.
b. COUNT NOISES: Know how many children are in your care.
c. Instruct the children to hold hands, walk two-by-two, and stay together.
4. If you decide to open the door, first make sure the windows are closed. Open the door cautiously and shephard the children to the nearest exit and stairwell. If more than one adult is present, one adult should be the first one through the door and another adult should be the last one through the door.
a. Walk quickly, keep clam, and pull the fir alarm station (if it is not already ringing and are located at each exit of the building) to alert others.
b. Obey the monitors. They have taken the time to become familiar with the emergency response plan; they are there for your safety.
c. Use the stairwell only in you are unable to reach an exit any other way. Remember that most parts of the UUCA building include doors or windows at ground level.
d. If you encounter smoke, stay low where the air is better.
5. If you decide to evacuate through the windows, make sure the door is closed before you open a window. If more than one adult is present, one adult should be the first one through the window and another adult should be the last one through the window. If you are the only adult present, pass the children through the window first—and try to enlist the aid of any adult you see outside.
6. As the children exit the building, do not stop, but COUNT NOISES again.
a. If you have the same number you started with, continue to lead the children to their designated Evacuation Accountability Area—the far end of the playground.
b. If you have fewer or more children than you started with, immediately notify a building exit monitor—there will be at least one at each exit. Then lead the children who are with you to their designated Evacuation Accountability Area—the far end of the fenced playground, and determine who is missing by taking roll based on your daily roster.
7. Do not attempt to re-enter the building while the fire alarm is sounding. The Fire Department will authorize personnel to return to the building when it is safe.
8. Once you and the children in your care reach the far end of the fenced playground:
a. Have the children in your group sit quietly together.
b. Take roll, based on your daily roster. If you were unable to bring your roster, find a way to make a list of the children under your care.
c. Retain control over the children until their parents/guardians arrive.
d. Release children only to a parent/guardian.
e. Annotate your daily roster or other list with the name of the parent/guardian who picks up each child.
9. If you become trapped in a room and cannot reach an exit:
a. Keep the door closed and seal off any cracks
b. If a telephone is available, call 911 and report you are trapped and give your exact location in the building.
c. Go to a window signal for help.
Field trips provide some of the best learning opportunities for learners of all ages. Field trips are often organized as curriculum enrichment, but they may also serve such purposes as team-building, recreation, and work on community service projects. We encourage the use of field trips! BUT, field trips change the dynamics of the class and require different procedures for doing all that we can to assure the safety of all participants. Please follow these guidelines.
a. A written handout given to students prior to the trip or an email to all parents
b. A mailing that includes a permission form to each family. Information that you should include in written notifications:
c. Follow-up phone calls by Sunday School teachers and/or classroom phone tree
During the trip:
a. At least two adults (21 years or over) must be present no matter how many students are going.
b. Be aware of allergies and special needs of the participants.
c. Count youngsters frequently.
d. For youngest children, have them wear nametags with the church name and contact person’s phone number.
Other things you can do to enhance the procedures or value of the field trip:
We, the churches and fellowships of the Unitarian Universalist Association promise to encourage:
This way of thinking and feeling that we Unitarian Universalists share comes from many places:
Tena Vinet and Lisa Savio, Burlington, VT
Adapted by Linda Topp, Arlington, VA
If you can’t find what you need please email firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a note with the office manager – all two weeks. You may also purchase anything you need (after looking in the obvious places) up to $25. Just attach your receipts to the green Request for RE Reimbursement form (available on the desk in the lower lobby) and turn it in to Justin Martin. Please submit receipts as you get them – do not save them up.
If you want to mail a letter or field trip permission to your youngsters or their parents/guardians, provide a “mail-ready” copy and a description of who is to receive the mailing to Justin Martin at email@example.com no later than Tuesday of the week you wish the mail to go out. Copies of the field trip form are located in a folder in the box on the Office Manager’s desk in the downstairs lobby.
Other Teacher Resources
The SECRET to having fun and having what you need is to PLAN AHEAD! Never assume we have what you need or that the copier is working... you may get lucky, but why risk it?
To learn more about Unitarian Universalism
(Both available at the UUCA book cart on Sunday mornings)
For help with the teaching process (including behavior and scheduling issues)
For help with mailing, supplies, logistics, A/V equipment, and just about anything else
For help with class content or special activities
To reserve rooms for special activities
Our church recently completed the UUA requirements and voted to become a Green Sanctuary congregation. We are now looking more intentionally at what we do through a green lens, mindful of our impact on our earth and its systems.Here are some tools and ideas for “Green R.E.” You will come up with many more ideas. Please share!
SOME INITIAL CONTACTS:
Help with green lessons, songs, etc. UUCA’s green work, recycling questions
I am a part of Earth, my home, and its web of life.
At church, at home, and wherever I go:
I turn off lights, the TV, and computer when they aren't needed.
I save water whenever I can. For example, I use a gentle flow to wash my hands, and I turn it off while I brush my teeth.
I use both sides of the paper.
With art supplies, I take as much as I need, but not extra.
I appreciate my food and drink, and I don't waste them.
I put litter into trash cans.
At church, home, school, and in my neighborhood,